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As the number of Coronavirus patients mounts by the minute, so does the victim blaming. Pixabay

As the number of Coronavirus patients mounts by the minute, so does the fear.

Fear and anxiety are insidious emotions which encourage people to behave and react in manners they ordinarily wouldn’t. Especially when faced with extraordinary circumstances like COVID-19.


Things can get worse when social distancing becomes the norm and emotions like empathy, compassion and kindness take a backseat. The thin line between naming, shaming and blaming get blurred.

So the next time you visit your local grocery store without a mask, don’t be surprised by the frowns that greet you. The next time you meet an old friend and try and shake their hand with fondness or out of habit, don’t be surprised if they rudely admonish you. And the next time an ageing family member coughs, don’t be surprised if your natural reaction is to back off instead of showing concern.


Kanika Kapoor who tested positive for the novel coronavirus, was named, shamed and blamed. Wikimedia Commons

Suppose for a minute it’s you who had coronavirus, which if reports are to be believed is highly likely in the near future, would you b alright with being named, blamed and shamed? Medical shaming is one of the traps that we have to avoid falling into in these trying times. It will only encourage people with symptoms to hide out of fear of shame, resulting in fewer cases being detected resulting in an increase in the risk of contracting.

Coronavirus is a pandemic, which means the disease is not a defect, inadequacy or a shortcoming in a patient. But those who are at a high risk of experiencing shame and humiliation or social ostracizing may hide that they have symptoms. Patients often respond to the suffering of shame and humiliation by avoiding the physician and withholding information from people.

Studies have reported that medical shaming at times is used as an attempt to motivate a patient to change their behavior, but more often than not it is out of a blatant disregard or disgust for the patient itself.

When asked how fear can result in shaming, Psychologist, Ann Philipose replied, “When survival is threatened people tend to respond in a plethora of ways. There is an uncertainty with respect to the disease itself and to how long we will have to stay under curfew. This uncertainty leads to anxiety. Anxiety manifests in a variety of ways… Patient shaming is because there is a lack of understanding about the disease and its physiology. Where there is fear we have a flight or fight response. That can get in the way of rational decision and emotions go into an overdrive and therefore we sometimes respond in patient shaming. What would be helpful is to get information from trustworthy sources. Right now we need to stand together and learn from each other and from those who have recovered.”

Take the curious case of Kanika Kapoor who tested positive for the infection; she was named, shamed and blamed. Named and called out, which in turn allowed all those in contact with her, or in secondary contact, to get themselves and their close ones checked for COVID-19 and get treated should the need arise or go into self quarantine.

But it was taken a step further in shaming, shaming for attending a social gatherings and for shamelessly socializing. Lastly the singer was also blamed and booked for negligence with an FIR was lodged against her under Sections IPC 269 (negligent act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life), 270 (malignant act likely to spread infection of disease dangerous to life), 188 (disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant),

Kapoor’s friends have taken to Instagram and other social media platforms in her defense. Some like Sonam Kapoor posted, “Hey guys stop blaming @kanik4kapoor, she arrived on the 9th when India wasn’t self isolating but playing Holi. This trial by media needs to STOP.”

Instagram handle TheSwaddle posted that within hours of the singer testing positive for COVID19, “healthcare workers, government officials, and celebrity gossip enthusiasts began ‘contact tracing’ her – tracking her movements public scorn grew as fierce as people speculated that Kapoor must have flouted government directives of public safety and started calling her a ‘criminal'”. The comment goes on to say, that “these behaviours while stemming from the panic that the current pandemic has caused, are creating an atmosphere of stigma and fear that ostracizes people who have contracted the coronavirus. Especially those who might not even know it yet. Stigmatizing illness is just the edge of a dystopian rabbit hole.”


Suppose for a minute it’s you who had coronavirus, which if reports are to be believed is highly likely in the near future, would you b alright with being named, blamed and shamed? Medical shaming is one of the traps that we have to avoid falling into in these trying times. Pixabay

The flip side is that if one cannot identify a carrier then one is left more vulnerable to being exposed to these carriers and thus to catching the infection.

Kim-Lien Nguyen, MD, Assistant Professor of medicine at David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and a practicing cardiologist, in the article Naming, not shaming – patient privacy restrictions facilitate spread of coronavirus pandemic’, published in �The Hill’ writes that, “at the core of the coronavirus pandemic is the rapid rate of infection and absence of full disclosure. By keeping the identity of infected patients or exposed individuals secret, the federal government risks escalating the problem to unfathomable magnitude and fueling further paranoia.” It goes on to state that, “Laudable efforts to “flatten the curve” by limiting social interactions are destined to fail if patient privacy is upheld at the cost of the public welfare� Health officials must recognize that providing a means for disclosure of infected individuals’ status may help curb further spread. Mitigating risks through transparent disclosure is a more effective step than fuelling further anxiety by shrouding the crisis with a cloak of secrecy.”

A heightened awareness of these issues can not only help physicians to diminish the shame experience in their patients, but can also make the lay man aware that nothing positive can be achieved by medical shaming.

Victim blaming has not only snuck into our healthcare systems but also into our psychology. Whether its patients of sexual assault, STDs or even those suffering from mental illness or obesity.

In Shame, stigma and Medicine’, it is stated that, “Shame remains universal-there can be few of us who have not been seared by shame at some stage of our life. In fact, some philosophers argue that shame is inescapable in human experience” It further states that “Stigma is a social, emotional, political and clinical issue of enormous significance-the impact of social exclusion contributes substantially to the burden of illness, perhaps to the extent that in highly stigmatised disorders the suffering brought on by the disease process may be outweighed by the impact of stigma-induced social rejection.”

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In Shaw’s ‘Man and Superman’ Tanner states, “Yet even I cannot wholly conquer shame. We live in an atmosphere of shame. We are ashamed of everything that is real about us; ashamed of ourselves, of our relatives, of our incomes, of our accents, of our opinions, of our experience, just as we are ashamed of our naked skins.”

These are not times about the survival of the fittest, it’s about the survival of being humane and heightened awareness. (IANS)


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Photo by Pixabay

Upcoming medical colleges in Uttar Pradesh will be named after saints and sages

The new medical colleges being opened in Uttar Pradesh will be named after saints and sages.

The state government has issued an order naming four district hospitals that are being converted into medical colleges.

These district hospitals are in Bijnor, Fatehpur, Chandauli, and Siddharth Nagar.

The Bijnor medical college has been named after Mahatma Vidur, a philosopher during the Mahabharata era and uncle of the Pandavas and Kauravas.

The Chandauli medical college has been named after Baba Keenaram, said to be the founder of the Aghori sect.

The Siddharth Nagar district hospital will be called Madhav Prasad Tripathi Medical College after the BJP politician from the region. Tripathi, popularly known as Madhav Babu, was also the first Uttar Pradesh BJP chief. He was elected MP from Domariyaganj in 1977, besides being two times Jan Sangh MLA and also a member of the UP legislative council.

The Fatehpur hospital has been named Amar Shaheed Jodha Singh Ataiya Thakur Dariyawn Singh Medical College, after the freedom fighter of 1857.

It is said that he was among the first to use Guerrilla warfare against the British, as taught by freedom fighter Tatya Tope.

Meanwhile, according to official sources, the medical college in Deoria will be named after Maharishi Devraha Baba and the medical college of Ghazipur in the name of Maharishi Vishwamitra.

The medical college of Mirzapur will be in the name of Maa Vindhyavasini, the medical college of Pratapgarh in the name of Dr. Sonelal Patel and the medical college of Etah will be named after Veerangana Avantibai Lodhi. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: Medical Colleges, Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath, India, Politics


Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Photo of Indian cricket team on the ground

Former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq has picked India as the favourite to win the ongoing ICC Men's T20 World Cup in Oman and United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Inzamam feels that the Virat Kohli-led India have a greater chance of winning the trophy as the conditions in the Gulf nations are similar to the subcontinent, which makes India the most dangerous side in the event, according to Inzamam.

"In any tournament, it cannot be said for certain that a particular team will win' It's all about how much chance do they have of winning it. In my opinion, India have a greater chance than any other team of winning this tournament, especially in conditions like these. They have experienced T20 players as well," said Inzamam on his YouTube channel.

He said more than the Indian batters, the bowlers have a lot of experience of playing in the conditions. The Indian Premier League (IPL) was played recently in UAE and most of the Indian bowlers did well in that leg.

Inzy heaped praises on the Men in Blue for the confident manner in which they chased the target against Australia on a challenging track without needing Kohli's batting prowess.

"India played their warm-up fixture against Australia rather comfortably. On subcontinent pitches like these, India are the most dangerous T20 side in the world. Even today, if we see the 155 runs they chased down, they did not even need Virat Kohli to do so," he added.

Though he did not pick any favourite, Inzamam termed the India-Pakistan clash in the Super 12 on October 24 as the 'final before the final' and said the team winning it will go into the remaining matches high on morale,

"The match between India and Pakistan in the Super 12s is the final before the final. No match will be hyped as much as this one. Even in the 2017 Champions Trophy, India and Pakistan started and finished the tournament by facing each other, and both the matches felt like finals. The team winning that match will have their morale boosted and will also have 50 percent of pressure released from them," Inzamam added. (IANS/JB)

Keywords: India, Pakistan, Sports, ICC T20 World Cup, UAE.


Photo by Diana Akhmetianova on Unsplash

Skin problems like itchiness, dryness and flakiness can occur anytime if you're not moisturising your body enough.

Skin problems like itchiness, dryness and flakiness can occur anytime if you're not moisturising your body enough. It is commonly observed that while many people take their skincare routine seriously, a majority of them neglect to moisturise the body. It is important to keep in mind that timing matters a lot when it comes to applying moisturisers. Therefore, knowing the appropriate time to apply body lotion is essential.

Take a look at the ideal times to moisturise your body shared by Kimi Jain, Head of Retail, KIMRICA.

Morning
Moisturising the body in the morning sets your skin up to face countless irritants and environmental factors during the day. The skin is constantly exposed to harsh chemicals and pollutants when you're outside which is why using a protective and soothing moisturiser while going out is necessary. Kimirica's Five Elements Body Lotion comes with natural Aloe Vera extracts that act as a rich source of antioxidants and vitamins that helps protect your skin and provide a deep nourishing effect.

man in white crew neck t-shirt Moisturising the body in the morning sets your skin up to face countless irritants and environmental factors during the day. | Photo by The Creative Exchange on Unsplash

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